Playing on Seattle’s dramatic growth, two competing groups are proposing the creation of a new world-class sports and entertainment arena, one by renovating Key Arena in Seattle Center and the other by constructing a new arena in the SoDo district.
Much of the attention has centered around the efforts to bring back NBA basketball to the city that saw its Seattle SuperSonics decamp to Oklahoma City in 2008. Often overlooked is the very real possibility that the National Hockey League (NHL) will also award a franchise to Seattle if a modern arena is developed.
But if the NHL comes to town, will Seattle residents care about a sport that many barely know exists?
This special episode of the Seattle Growth Podcast offers several perspectives on the prospect of top-shelf hockey in Seattle.
- Ralph Morton, executive director of the Seattle Sports Commission, describes what Seattle’s economic development means for a potential NHL team, and what a hockey franchise could mean for Seattle’s further development.
- Jon Barr, a hockey enthusiast who is behind the “NHL to Seattle” fan movement, shares insight into the existing hockey community that is clamoring for an NHL team.
- Vanessa Kirk-Briley of Ronald McDonald House Charities explains how professional hockey can have a significant impact on Seattle residents in need.
- Todd Humphrey, a former pro hockey player who advised the mayor on competing proposals for a Key Arena remodel, weighs in on the ongoing arena debate.